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Big cute dolphin or killer whale

The loss of any life is sad. Also when “animal trainers” lose their lives in their line of work. But it is their “line of work” that is often more hotly debated than when they are killed, accidentally or not, by the animals they “work with.”

There is no doubt that SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau cared deeply about the orcas she worked with for so many years. It shocked most people when she died when she was grabbed by the waist and pulled into the pool by Tilly the orca. It was not the first time a person was killed by an orca. And it did not surprise animal welfare organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They have long warned about keeping wild animals in confined spaces. To quote them: that pool is like trying to swim in a bathtub for an orca, a 12,000 pound wild animal used to the open ocean where it interacts with other orcas.

The orca is a dolphin species, Orcinus orca, commonly known as orca, killer whale or blackfish.

A cage is a jail

Neither animals nor humans should be kept in a cage. All studies have shown that caging animals or humans has absolutely no benefit – there is no exception. Keeping an animal in a cage is disgusting. Keeping a human in a cage is worse than disgusting.

What, then, to do with criminals, I hear you say. In the case of offenders, let them pay back to society what they have taken from society. You and I do. For repeat offenders; three strikes and you’re out. In the case of murderers, one strike.

Caring for our fellow earthlings – animals and humans – means incorporating them within our social structures, within our social rules. Not caging them. It benefits no-one.

25/02/2010. Category: Media. Topic: .

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